When the South Carolina General Assembly passes a law, it often leaves the implementation and enforcement of that law to one of the state's administrative agencies. To do this, it either adds to an existing agency's duties or creates a new agency with the power to write rules and regulations.
For example, when the South Carolina General Assembly established the South Carolina Education Lottery, it created the South Carolina Lottery Commission and gave it the power to govern the operation of the lottery through regulations.
Once an agency in South Carolina has been given the authority by the SC General Assembly to write regulations, it generally provides an opportunity for the public to comment on the regulations it plans to implement by publishing a Notice of Drafting and the text of the proposed regulations in the South Carolina State Register.
Based on the feedback it receives, the agency may make revisions to the regulations before it submits the final version to the General Assembly for approval. After approval by the General Assembly, the final regulations are published in the South Carolina State Register. Upon publication, the regulation becomes effective.
South Carolina agency regulations are then organized by agency and arranged by chapters and sections (i.e., codified) in the South Carolina Code of Regulations, which is published as part of the South Carolina Code Annotated.
In 2002, the South Carolina Lottery Commission issued regulations to implement the South Carolina Education Lottery.
The regulation addressing how to claim a lottery prize from a winning ticket was published in the South Carolina Code of Regulations as Chapter 44, “Lottery Commission,” Section 70, “Claiming Prizes.”
References to the statutory law authorizing an agency to create particular regulations typically appear at the beginning of each Chapter of the SC Code of Regulations.
Individual regulations in the SC Code of Regulations also include a history line after the text of the regulation telling researchers where the final regulation and any subsequent amendments were first published in the South Carolina State Register.
After the text of a SC regulation, a summary and citation of any appellate court decisions interpreting it will appear under Notes of Decisions. Below is an example of a SC Employment Security Commission regulation along with a case found in its Notes of Decisions wherein the South Carolina Court of Appeals applied the meaning of the word "unemployed" in the regulations.
The official print annotated South Carolina Code of Regulations is available in most South Carolina libraries as part of the South Carolina Code Annotated set.
An online, un-annotated version of the South Carolina Code of Regulations is available though the South Carolina Legislature's website.
Online access to annotated versions of South Carolina regulations is also available through subscription databases such as Westlaw and LexisNexis. Bloomberg Law also plans to annotate its state resources in the future.
South Carolina colleges and universities and public libraries may provide access to academic and public-access versions of Westlaw and LexisNexis. All state regulations are accessible through the University of South Carolina's subscription to LexisNexis Academic.
Before regulations are published in the SC Code of Regulations by agency and subject, researchers may access the Notice of Drafting, including how to comment on the proposed regulations, in the South Carolina State Register. Also published in the South Carolina State Register is the text of proposed and final regulations.
The Coleman Karesh Law Library at the University of South Carolina School of Law maintains a print version of the South Carolina State Register from its inception in 1977 to the present. The current South Carolina State Register and archival volumes dating back through 1999 are available on the South Carolina Legislature's website. The University of South Carolina provides access to the remaining volumes of the South Carolina State Register (from 1977 through 1998) as part of its digital collections.
There are four key methods for locating South Carolina regulations: